Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 10, 2023

Newsline: UK summons Iranian envoy

Britain’s foreign minister James Cleverly summoned Iran’s most senior diplomat after Iranian authorities executed protestors Mohammad Mahdi Karami and Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini. “Today I have summoned the Iranian Chargé d’Affaires to condemn in the strongest possible terms the abhorrent executions we witnessed over the weekend,” Cleverly said in a statement. Since the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman Mahsa Amini last September, Britain said it had imposed more than 40 sanctions on leading officials in Iran “for their role in serious human rights violations.” (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/uk-summons-top-iranian-diplomat-following-latest-executions-2023-01-09/) The two men were hanged on Saturday for allegedly killing a member of the security forces during protests that followed the death of Amini.

Newsline: Chinese embassy in Seoul suspends visas for South Koreans

The Chinese embassy in South Korea has suspended issuing short-term visas for South Korean visitors, it said on Tuesday, the first retaliatory move against nations imposing COVID-19 curbs on travellers from China. The embassy will adjust the policy subject to the lifting of South Korea’s “discriminatory entry restrictions” against China, it said on its official WeChat account. Beijing retaliated on Tuesday against South Korea’s COVID-19 curbs on travellers from China, while state media further downplayed the severity of the outbreak in the last major economy to reopen its borders after three years of isolation. Although China imposes similar testing requirements for all arrivals, foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters on Tuesday the entry curbs for Chinese travellers were “discriminatory.” “We will take reciprocal measures,” Wang said, without elaborating. (https://neuters.de/world/china/covid-wave-past-its-peak-many-parts-china-state-media-2023-01-10/) Kyodo news agency, quoting multiple travel industry sources, said China has told travel agencies that it has stopped issuing new visas in Japan. An AFP journalist tweeted that the Chinese embassy in Japan released a statement confirming the curbs on Tuesday but removed it from its website within minutes.

Newsline: EU summons Iran ambassador

The European Union summoned Iran’s ambassador to the bloc on Monday and told him it was appalled by the executions at the weekend of two Iranians arrested in the course of a violent crackdown on anti-government protesters in the country. Stefano Sannino, secretary-general of the European External Action Service (EEAS), reiterated the EU’s outrage to the ambassador, Hossein Dehghani, the EEAS said in a statement. (https://neuters.de/world/eu-summons-iran-ambassador-voice-outrage-executions-2023-01-09/) Sannino also repeated an EU call on Iranian authorities to annul without delay death sentences already pronounced against other protesters.